View Full Version : The Navy Tot!
16th February 2008, 23:01
After all this time I have only found out who was the instigator of removing the Navies rum ration, his name was Admiral F.R Twiss, many of the last commission of the Colony class cruiser HMS CEYLON will remember him as our Captain in 1958/60,a much admired gent by the ships company. He kept a clean ship and a well trained crew.He was a prisoner of the Japanese and was badly treated while in captivity and when the CEYLON visited Yokohama he was rather reluctent to go ashore, instead he got all the Japanese officials to come to him instead apparently that part of Japan held awful memories to the man , although he stopped the rum he was a great guy.
16th February 2008, 23:05
Admiral of the Fleet sir peter hill norton was the "man at the top" at the time of the ration being stopped.
Admiral Twiss must have had a hand in it..........
the rum fanny........ i mean
19th February 2008, 05:20
According to a NZ Navy website the Royal Navy commenced its issue of a rum ration during the 1700's and later as the Canadian and New Zealand Navies were formed they adopted the same tradition.
The RN discontinued the practice on the 31/7/70, the Canadians 3/3/72 and the NZ'ers were the last to finish the ration of a Tot as late as 1990.
The lateness of the NZ decision was probably due to their lack of sophisticated electronics that required total sobriety on NZ ships up until then!
RN Admiral Sir Andrew LeFanu was the red headed Officer who issued the order to end the rum ration and for this he was dubbed "Dry Ginger" by the lower deck.
19th February 2008, 10:04
Sir Michael actually. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Le_Fanu
Here are the thoughts of a politician who was on the Board at the time:-
When the Second Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Frank Twiss, persuaded all of us on the Admiralty Board to get rid of the naval tot Mike le Fanu realized its political sensitivity and did everything to show that this was a naval decision, earning another nickname, `Dry Ginger' – later the title of a breezy book about him by Richard Baker. The rum ration was the equivalent of four-and-a-half pub measures. After the bosun at the wheel had had his midday tot he would have failed a breathalyser test. The Admiralty Board feared a backlash and at one meeting we solemnly talked about the risk of mutiny. A doggerel going around the lower deck at the time went like this:
Jack's always done his duty
To country and to throne,
And all he asks in fairness
Is: leave his tot alone.
We softened the blow by allowing spirits in the Petty Officers' mess for the first time and extra beer for the ratings was also given at my suggestion. I had to defend the decision to abolish the tot in a debate in the House of Commons in January 1970.
19th February 2008, 20:38
A mutiny must have been on their minds. I was on the Undaunted in the Portland Squadron and, for the last day of the tot, all of the Squadron was dispersed to different locations. We were anchored off a small cove to the east of Penzance. On the last day of the tot, we had our tots lunch time, and the beer issue was made at the same time. A boat routine operated and libertymen were landed on the beach in the cove and, by way of a path up the cliff, we made our way to a pub, some way off on the main coast road.
I believe it was a similar story for other ships in the Squadron and most of the Naval ports were devoid of, serviceable, ships on that day.
19th February 2008, 21:32
Rear Adm Sir Frank Twiss as Second Sea Lord appears to have done the deed and Le Fanu took the credit. see http://www.seayourhistory.org.uk/component/option,com_gallery2/Itemid,460/?g2_itemId=7504
An excerpt from what Le Fanu no doubt considered his witty farewell to the Navy.
"Most farewell messages try to tear-jerk
the tear from the eye;
but I say to you lot,
very sad about the tot,
And thank you, good luck and goodbye."
-- Admiral of the Fleet,
Sir Michael "Dry Ginger" Le Fanu
20th February 2008, 02:38
Memento we had made up on Chichester
21st February 2008, 22:08
The senior rates' rum ration was a small tot of neaters. It gave us a hearty appetite for our lunch with no after effects, apart from probably a tendency to converse more loudly during the meal!
The junior rates' rum ration was a tot of rum mixed in two measures of water. In my opinion, this was much more lethal than neaters, because it induced sleep and made one dozy for some time after lunch.
However, with the introduction of more and more high tech equipment, neither ration was a good idea any more.
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